Mindfulness is a mental state of awareness, focus and openness, which allows you to engage fully at what you are doing at each moment. It’s easy to get swept away by a tidal wave of thoughts and feelings. This can be particularly powerful when you are faced with worries, pressure and responsibilities and wanting things to be different.
Moment to moment acceptance
Being mindful, paying attention to what is happening in the present moment is a welcome relief from these stressful thought patterns. Mindfulness keeps you grounded and centred –less pushed by what’s going on around you. You are more able to stay focused and be calmly present in the midst of both pleasant and unpleasant thoughts. In contrast to all the other psychological techniques, mindfulness is seen as an “open-hearted, moment-to- moment non-judgmental awareness” (Kabat-Zinn, 2005, p. 24). This acceptance-based approach causes an individual to create a alternation in the way he/she perceives past negative and avoidance of internal experiences like emotions, cognitions and physical sensations, to a state where acceptance and awareness is the primary mechanism of. Through this approach the mindfulness and acceptance-based model focuses on promoting a modified relationship to these experiences rather than changing or controlling. The concept of the mindfulness model is to create a non-judging, moment-to-moment awareness and acceptance of one's internal state (e.g. negative thoughts, feelings, stress and anxiety). The task-relevant attention focus could additionally benefit the athlete to shift focus from judgement to acceptance, through commitment and effort towards personal values.